Dimensions Forums  
Home Register Premium Membership Stories Ye Olde Library Health Issues Market Place Big Fashion

Go Back   Dimensions Forums > Discussion > BBW Forum



Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-10-2009, 05:11 PM   #1
saucywench
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default male/female communication breakdowns

What causes it? How do you prevent it, or how do you repair it?

I'm so perplexed by it that I have spent a considerable amount of phone time with my wonderful, logical, rational female friend discussing it. She had experienced some of the same thing recently, and we couldn't reach any definitive conclusions. We brought up a certain book (that's the only reference we could think of) and she wound up getting a copy for both of us. I'm reading through it and picking up a few good things, but I find the Venusian/Martian analogy a little hokey (and entirely unsustainable throughout an entire book).

I am really at a loss about this sort of thing, and I am eager for some answers, so I would appreciate all sincere responses.

Oh--I also want to preface this request by mentioning that I want to avoid discussion of assigning blame or guilt, as I am not into that at all. I am talking about communication between mature adults who, deep down, have each other's best interests at heart...so I would like to keep the conversation mature, as well.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2009, 06:00 PM   #2
rainyday
Departed
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,892
rainyday has ascended what used to be the highest level.rainyday has ascended what used to be the highest level.rainyday has ascended what used to be the highest level.rainyday has ascended what used to be the highest level.rainyday has ascended what used to be the highest level.rainyday has ascended what used to be the highest level.rainyday has ascended what used to be the highest level.rainyday has ascended what used to be the highest level.rainyday has ascended what used to be the highest level.rainyday has ascended what used to be the highest level.rainyday has ascended what used to be the highest level.
Default

Sauce, are you talking about communication between romantic partners or men and women in general?

Did you read any of Deborah Tannen's books back in the 1990s? She's a sociologist who wrote on gender communication differences. I read a couple and remember them being pretty interesting. They're not specifically romantic partnership oriented though.

You Just Don't Understand: Men and Women in Conversation

Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work

Gender and Discourse


Maybe the academic folks here will have more current sources.
rainyday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2009, 06:12 PM   #3
Dr. Feelgood
intellectual nerd
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: the Twilight Zone
Posts: 4,561
Dr. Feelgood has ascended what used to be the highest level.Dr. Feelgood has ascended what used to be the highest level.Dr. Feelgood has ascended what used to be the highest level.Dr. Feelgood has ascended what used to be the highest level.Dr. Feelgood has ascended what used to be the highest level.Dr. Feelgood has ascended what used to be the highest level.Dr. Feelgood has ascended what used to be the highest level.Dr. Feelgood has ascended what used to be the highest level.Dr. Feelgood has ascended what used to be the highest level.Dr. Feelgood has ascended what used to be the highest level.Dr. Feelgood has ascended what used to be the highest level.
Default

Rainy beat me to the punch; I was going to recommend Deborah Tannen, too! Her thesis is that men and women use language differently, and I found You Just Don't Understand to be very helpful. It may not be specifically about romantic relationships, but I found it applicable!
__________________
Now all you women,
Don't you come around
Unless you weigh
'Bout fo' hundred pound...
-- Dr. Feelgood & the Interns
Dr. Feelgood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2009, 07:22 PM   #4
saucywench
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Oh, I don't mean romantic partners per se, no. I do understand that there are gender differences in communication between men and women in general--I've had a few instances of this occurring with my boss--but...I guess I'm having trouble articulating this...I guess I mean situations in which you care in a more personal way when there is a communication breakdown (could be friends or lovers)...where the outcome (understanding/resolution) is of more significance to you.

Anyway, thanks for the recommendation (both you and Dr. Feelgood); I will look into what she has to say. When I returned to the university to get my degree, I had a speech communication professor who was working on her doctorate, and she was specializing in gender communication issues. Maybe she has published something. If so, I'll report it here.

(I still haven't articulated this well. I'll try to make another stab at it later.)
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2009, 09:34 PM   #5
Keb
Princess
 
Keb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 927
Keb has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Keb has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Keb has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Keb has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Keb has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Keb has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Keb has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Keb has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Keb has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Keb has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Keb has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!
Default

I think communication might break down more between men and women, but it often breaks down between people who are coming from different places anyway, regardless of sex. We often assume people understand things that seem very basic and/or logical to us which aren't to other people. And it's very easy to hear what you're expecting to hear rather than what's actually said.
__________________
Happiness is making others happy.
Keb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2009, 11:53 PM   #6
rollhandler
 
rollhandler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 612
rollhandler never has a post go unnoticedrollhandler never has a post go unnoticedrollhandler never has a post go unnoticedrollhandler never has a post go unnoticedrollhandler never has a post go unnoticedrollhandler never has a post go unnoticedrollhandler never has a post go unnoticedrollhandler never has a post go unnoticed
Default

Here is another book on the subject of male female communication in relationships and how to bridge the gap. These tools can be used for day to day male female communication by way of understanding how we communicate as genders and how to translate male and female speech patterns.

Why Men Don't Get Enough Sex and Women Don't Get Enough Love by Jonathan Kramer, Diane Dunaway Kramer, and Diane Dunaway

There are some invaluable communication tools in it as well for understanding each other as people, but it is specifically geared toward couples.
Rollhandler

Last edited by rollhandler; 09-10-2009 at 11:56 PM.
rollhandler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2009, 08:04 AM   #7
Tad
mostly harmless
 
Tad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 12,419
Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.
Default

I've frequently around here recommended "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" by Suzette Haden-Elgin. She wrote a few follow ups, one of which is called "Genderspeak: Men, Women, and the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" I've not read that one in particular, but in general I found her work to be very useful and practical, so it might be a good one to read on this topic.

On a personal observation, a rule of thumb I use is that:
- Male social power seems to equate with being top dog in the pack, who nobody else dares threaten and who others will follow, with the worst thing being the last dog in line, eating everyone else's dust. In general showing a lack of assertiveness or aggression is a sure way to do poorly.

- Female social power seems to equate with being at the centre of the group or network, with the worst thing being to be pushed to the outside and cut off. In general showing a lack of willingness to play by the unwritten rules is a sure way to do poorly. (and maybe 'power' isn't even the right word here, using it might just be my male perspective on things.)


For guys, if you aren't top dog or close to it, striking out on your own can be just fine, even seen as brave and a step up. Also any tactic that helps you move up, so long as it doesn't directly threaten another guy, tends to be OK. Those same tactics in a network of women would get you ostracized, pushed to the outside for not playing by the rules.

In (non-romantic) mixed-gender situations, where you have guys playing by guys' rules and women playing by women's rules, it can get a bit messy. Even with good general communications, if you are starting from a basically different rule set on how social interactions should happen, it will be hard to get along.

Not to say mixed gender groups can't work, I think often they bring out the best in both sides. Just that sometimes they can also lead to real frustrations.
__________________
Criticism is so often nothing more than the eye garrulously denouncing the shape of the peephole that gives access to hidden treasure.
-Djuna Barnes, writer and artist
Tad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2009, 10:41 AM   #8
saucywench
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Keb, I had a lengthy reply I was working on this morning, but my screen froze and I lost it all. It would hurt my brain too much to try to reconstruct it, so all I will say now is that, yes, I agree.

Perhaps I can come back to this later and try again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keb View Post
I think communication might break down more between men and women, but it often breaks down between people who are coming from different places anyway, regardless of sex. We often assume people understand things that seem very basic and/or logical to us which aren't to other people. And it's very easy to hear what you're expecting to hear rather than what's actually said.
  Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:58 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright Dimensions Magazine. All rights reserved worldwide.